WordPress is a fantastic CMS, and a universe full of themes, plugins, and all kinds of extensions has made it possible with WordPress to build almost any type of page you have in mind. But to do that, you have to choose the right theme and plugins for your project. So, today we will discuss how to choose a WordPress theme. Let’s start it:
What to Look for in a WordPress Theme
At this point in the article, what you have to ask any theme is:
- Will we be able to start working with you today?
- Also, will we be able to edit and personalize you in the near and distant future?
- Will we be able to charge you for another in a relatively simple way when we get bored of you?
Having a positive answer to those three key questions will mean the difference between using a theme for practical purposes and in an organized and productive way or having a theme that will drive you crazy on a technical level.
Imagine now that you already have a perfect and optimized WordPress theme for your project in your hands. Keep in mind that now you have to learn how to use it and make what you build with it look pretty similar to the demo you saw on the page where you bought it.
Below we briefly write what we consider to be to make good use of the theme, and further down, to misuse it.
Good Use of a Theme
- Use WordPress child themes within the template. This means that all the changes at the HTML and CSS level that you make will not change or be lost when the template you have purchased is automatically updated.
- Use the theme for aesthetic purposes only. The functionalities that your website needs will be covered by using specific plugins.
- Use an “all in one” theme for a specific project, relatively small, and for which you need to have a website made as soon as possible.
Misuse of a Theme
- Simply replace the sample content that came with the demo.
- “Sell” a theme and its customization to your clients, at the cost of a project created from scratch.
- Use the images that came with the demo for your project. (You may have copyright problems in the future).
- Use the functionalities that come with the theme. In the long run, it is better to use plugins.
- Promising gold and moor to your clients, without being sure that the theme can be scalable and adaptable at all times to the needs of your client.
- Use a pirated theme, so you don’t have to buy it (they are full of malware code and basically, it’s illegal to do so).
Specialized Companies vs Amateur Developers in Theme Markets
As a fan of professional services when it comes to using plugins and themes for all our projects, we have to briefly mention here the significant difference in terms of quality between companies specialized in creating and selling themes and developers who make and sell themes for pleasure, or because they want to have a peak of income at a particular moment.
Put yourself in the shoes of both: if you were a company and you dedicate yourself to creating themes for WordPress, you usually will want to continue to exist as a company for as long as possible, so in your services, you will:
- Offer quality support for all the themes you have created through a ticket system and not just by email.
- Constantly update your themes so that there are no problems with the WordPress core.
- Build customer loyalty so that they keep buying themes and recommending you to their contacts.
- Create professional and easy-to-understand documentation that accompanies each of the themes you sell.
- Create some monthly or annual subscriptions to ensure your financial stability.
- Use different means to publicize your themes.
- The more clients you have, the more you can grow at the personal level in your company.
If you were a developer making a one-time WordPress theme to sell it in a theme marketplace, it would probably happen that:
- Your main objective is to make money by selling your template to the more clients, the better.
- Don’t worry so much if the template stops selling.
- Also, don’t worry so much about having well-crafted documentation on how to use your template.
- Don’t worry so much about supporting people who have problems with your staff.
- In the beginning, you may invest a lot of time and effort in having a quality code, but in the future, the maintenance and updating of your theme may go to the background because you have another job that brings you more benefits.
- You decide not to go ahead with the project.
- If you sell a lot, there will come a time when you will lack hands to do everything at once.
Therefore, when you choose a WordPress theme in a theme market, you have to know how to locate the dedicated companies and the developers who are simply experimenting and who do not commit themselves full time to creating and selling themes.
Be careful; we speak in general terms. There are also companies with deplorable service and “superman” developers that we respect and admire for their sales power, without losing quality at any time.
Themes vs Page Builders
Similarly, there is a big difference between a theme and a page builder.
As a classical concept, the themes for WordPress are a tool to create a website and configured and set to change the sample content for which you want and not have to worry about many more settings beyond changing colors and fonts.
Some themes include a Page Builder and Page Builders that have many themes available. We recommend looking for a good Page Builder and using the themes that come with it. This means that, when using one of its themes, if you want to change something of the site, it will be much easier and simpler with the Page Builder.
On the other hand, if you buy a theme that comes with a Page Builder, you may love it, but you may not like the Page Builder it uses.
For example, in our particular case, if we see that a theme uses Visual Composer as a Page Builder, we automatically discard it, no matter how beautiful it is.
And that of depending on someone to have your website updated correctly does not convince me, and we do not recommend it. Hence, we insist on using themes as merely aesthetic elements and that all the power of creation for your website comes from well-made plugins and page builders. Elite air handling unit & heat exchanger specialists Ltd is a nice example of a simple but good-looking website.
You May Also Read: Best WordPress Auction Themes and Plugins 2021
If after reading the article, you have decided to venture into the purchase of a theme because you really believe that it will save you a lot of time and that it is just what you need, we will give you a little review of the most important points that you have to consider:
Soak up the comments
Whatever theme market you are in, or if you use a specific theme selling company, always read reviews and opinions about the seller.
Look especially at the most negative comments, and analyze if what they say is a specific hatred towards a specific theme, or if it really touches an issue that affects the strategy you have for your web project.
Play around with the demo
Enter the demos that have the themes and play with them. Visit them from your mobile, from your tablet, see if you like how they look.
One of the best points of using a purchased theme is that you can test the result yourself before buying it. Automatically discard themes that do not have a demo and offer mere images of how they will look.
Visit the demo from all possible browsers
Use tools like BrowserShots to load the theme on different Internet browsers. This way you will avoid surprises later in terms of the performance of the theme with a certain browser.
Find real examples of using the template
Try to find websites that use the specific theme in “the real world.”
They usually appear on the website that the theme sells because they will be proud that people use them for their projects. If you can’t find any real cases of someone using the theme, it is not a cause for mistrust, but it is usually rare.
Take into account the type of support that exists
As we mentioned earlier, herein lies the difference in whether you buy the theme from a specialized company or from a specific person. Find continuous, quality support, because doubts will always arise in the future!
If you have any “pre-sale” questions, contact the author. This will help you know the quality of response that the company has and save you from headaches once you have purchased the theme.
If you use any template market, it will have a publicly visible section of “public questions” that other users have asked the author, and you will be able to see their responses. This will save you time and also allow you to learn more about the theme before purchasing.
Don’t be tempted to use the pirate version
Although you can get pirated or nulled versions of the known themes, please, do not use them for your actual projects. As you are exposed to sanctions, fines, and malware code inserted in them, that will negatively affect your website and your image as a professional.
If someone has dedicated hundreds of hours and a lot of effort to create something, it is logical that we are part of the service sales system and pay for what we will use in our projects.
Of course, worry about buying themes in markets or template stores with an actual money-back policy since some look the other way if you want your money back.
This has been all for us in terms of choosing a WordPress theme.
We hope that you have understood everything necessary about how to pick a WordPress theme so that you do not get screwed and that you get the ideal template for your project in a safe way and without significant complications. Hopefully, now you can easily choose a WordPress theme for your website. If you have any difficulties, please join our Theme Rally Community to ask your questions.